As suspected, Alexei Cherepanov did in fact suffer an injury during Avangard Omsk’s season opener on Wednesday, and it caused him to miss today’s game against Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, which Omsk dropped by the score of 3-1. Sports.ru reports that Cherepanov suffered a groin injury as the result of being worked too hard during his recent time with the Russian junior team, and that he aggravated it during Wednesday’s game. The injury is not thought to be serious, and he’s expected to return in time for Omsk’s match against Lada Togliatti on Sunday.
Cherepanov’s linemates, Anton Kuryanov and Alexander Popov each had an assist on Avangard’s only goal against Neftekhimik today, which was scored by defenseman Alexei Bondarev. Once again penalties appear to have been the obvious problem for the Hawks, as they took nine minors to Neftekhimik’s five and gave up two power play goals, while scoring none of their own.
In other news, Prospect Park reports that Evgeni Grachev picked up a goal and an assist in the Brampton Battalion’s exhibition match against the Guelph Storm last night. Grachev played right wing on a line with former Team Canada foe Matt Duchene, and according to Prospect Park’s sources, the two are starting to build some nice chemistry.
Finally, the Rangers released their training camp roster today (see Blueshirt Bulletin for more), and it features a surprise name from the past (no, not Petr Nedved — we all knew he was coming). Maxim Kondratiev, who was traded to Anaheim for Petr Sykora during the 2006-2007 season and who returned to Russia to play with SKA St. Petersburg last season after refusing to report to the Duck’s AHL affiliate in Portland, will be among those auditioning for the 7th spot on defense. Kondratiev spent most of last season paired with former Ranger Darius Kasparitis on SKA, and got into at least one fight (with former NHLer Oleg Saprykin; Drats is #63 in white). He was reported to have moved on from St. Petesburg to HK MVD earlier this summer, but does not currently appear on their roster. Its unclear whether he would sign a two-way deal or accept assignment to Hartford if he doesn’t make the squad out of camp, or if he would once again return to Russia if he fails to secure an NHL job.
Programming Note: I’m enjoying one last gasp of summer in the Adirondacks this weekend and have limited Internet access, so please forgive the lack of and/or lateness of updates for the next 4 days.
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